At the Game Awards yesterday, Microsoft showcased what its next-gen console would look like and also revealed its name – Xbox Series X. Along with the console, the company also took the wraps off the Xbox Series X controller. This new controller is similar to the existing Xbox One controller except for two noticeable differences, the presence of a Share button and a redesigned directional pad.
No new controller: why?
Microsoft’s Xbox Series X controller will work across all Xbox One consoles and will also be compatible with Windows 10 PCs. Moreover, they will act as standard for the Xbox Series X next-gen console as well.
In terms of shape and size, the new controller has a few minor tweaks, and appears smaller than before. Such tweaks, according to Microsoft, would help accommodate more types of people. As of now, it is not clear how big or small these design tweaks are.
Talking of why Microsoft hasn’t gone for a new controller even though it has changed the design of the console, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer told Gamespot that they believe they already have a “good controller” in the market presently. So, they haven’t felt the need to “go back to square one to build” a new controller.
However, there are a few things that they have learned while developing the Elite controller and by listening to the feedback of the users, and those things they have applied to the Xbox Series X controller.
Xbox Series X controller: what’s new?
Microsoft has finally added a Share button into the controller. This new button is placed between (and slightly below) the View and Menu buttons. The company notes that the share button has long been a requested feature.
“We’re not the first ones to do a share button, so we’re not going to say that we invented that, but we’ve heard feedback that sharing is such a part of a gaming experience now for many of our players. I wanted a dedicated button to share, so you’ll see that,” Microsoft’s Phil Spencer told Gamespot.
Initially, the Xbox One allowed users to capture screenshots and gameplay using the Kinect technology. Sony, however, added a dedicated share button in the PS4’s DualShock 4 controller, allowing players to instantly capture anything they want. Later, Microsoft tweaked the controller functionality, allowing players to capture video or an image by double-tapping the Xbox button and then pressing the face button.
With the Xbox Series X controller, Microsoft has finally given users an easy way to capture anything they want. Microsoft has also redesigned the D-pad, which is now in the form of a circle and not a D-pad. As per the company, it is “an advanced d-pad derived from the Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller.”
Xbox Series X: what is known?
Talking about the Xbox Series X, it will be available to purchase in the holiday season next year. The console has long been in rumors by the name Project Scarlet or Xbox Scarlet console. The design of the new console is completely different from the earlier Xbox One consoles, and appears more like a tower PC. You can, however, use it in both horizontal and vertical orientations.
This new console is claimed to be a massive improvement over the Xbox One X in terms of processing power. According to the chief of the Xbox division, Phil Spencer, the upcoming console is the fastest and most powerful console ever from Microsoft. Though Microsoft has not revealed the specifications, the new console is believed to deliver four times more processing power than the Xbox One X.
One selling point of the new console would be the backward compatibility. The company claims that the new console would bring “thousands of games from three generations and more forward with you.”
Additionally, the console also includes many new features to make gaming more immersive. In terms of output, the console will support 4K at 60fps and stretching up to 120fps. The console also claims to support 8K capability and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR). It is powered by a custom-designed processor based on AMD’s Zen 2 and Radeon RDNA architecture.
Microsoft’s new console would also feature hardware-accelerated ray tracing, and the SSDs used in the console will help in drastically reducing the load time. To cut down on the latency, the console will use an Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), while responsiveness will be taken care of by Dynamic Latency Input (DLI).
Further, the company said that all the Xbox One gaming accessories and service such as the Xbox Game Pass, will also be available for the Xbox Series X when it hits the shelves next year.